What's water like in P8

2xw

Active member
Am back up from my exile for a bit, anyone seen what water is like in P8? Third streamway open? Can we wander into caverns measureless beyond Sump 3?
Has Christmas Aven sump dried up :(
 

chunky

Active member
I was wondering the same thing. When I first joined Dudley CC, Caverkieth had recently crawled through the dry sand passages, I think to the ladder during drought.
 

A_Northerner

Active member
Third streamway has been open since about April, can't imagine it's filled up since then so it might be even lower. Dived P8 sumps 1-3 in about June and they were very low, maybe only 1-2m lower before they would be passable, and that was months of dry weather ago.
 

alastairgott

Well-known member
Not low enough?!? We had a bit of a dig at the silt in sump 1 by hand today but I think it will need a concerted effort to dig through the silt. Whether this would allow you to get beyond, I don’t know.

That sump upstream of bens dig and the traverse is still in play. We abseiled down where you had them ropes rigged a few years ago A-northerner but there was definitely a sump there rather than the further abseil I remember.
 

A_Northerner

Active member
When you talk about the silt in Sump 1, do you mean the silt bank that's straight ahead of you, in line with the passage, or down to the right where the water actually flows? Like I say it was fully open back in June as I dived through, but if the water levels have dropped enough that the silt has slumped down and blocked the actual way through then that's not ideal.

You aren't getting mixed up and thinking the sump normally continues in a straight line?

I'm not sure which ropes you're on about there, is it the Third Streamway (below Sumps C/D)? I've never left ropes there and usually free climb down into it.
 

alastairgott

Well-known member
Yeh, dive line just disappears into silt.

Something like this. Digging fruitlessly where the red X is.

But I guess all could change in hours if there’s a thunderstorm on the way.
 

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A_Northerner

Active member
Crazy. Fair enough, if you want the tools to dig at it feel free to grab them from Ben's dig, a couple of shovels in there - just put them back afterwards!
 

FabianE

New member
Might it be possible to arrange a trip and "encourage" the silt out the way? 😂😂
Obviously the latest weather may have put a slight stop to that... But just in case we get another dry spell...
I'd love to look beyond S1.
 

A_Northerner

Active member
Ben's Dig team are going down this evening to focus our tools on the Sumps for the next two days and see if it's possible to get through.

I haven't been down since June so I'm not sure on recent conditions, but I can't imagine the amount of rain Castleton has had over the past two days is enough to overflow Sump B, and re-start flow in the Main Streamway in order to fill up Sumps 1-3.

We will report back either way.
 

A_Northerner

Active member
Update: No-go, the water level is still just below the silt level. There's been a hell of a slump down there, it's almost unrecognisable from the last time I was there. It needs a hell of a lot of flow to open up again, or a drought so it can be dug. It will need at least another month of dry weather before the water is low enough to duck through, but it shouldn't be hard digging. We spent 20 mins digging and built a lovely sandcastle.

Upstream Sump B is passable though if anyone fancies that little challenge.
 

Gritstone

Member
I was down there mid July and the situation doesn't seem to have changed which is odd given the dry summer so far. Sump B was sumped about 10ft under the lip so that may have lowered a bit. Around the same time I got to sump 5 in the Merlin's Streemway before the dive line disappeared into a silt plug under water and Shags was passable to what I estimate to have been about 10m to 12m from the connection with John Smith's Passage. The Carleswark resurgence entrance sumped at the bend in the passage about 12m in but the airbell was accessable from the Rift Sump end. Also Streaks Pot was virtually dry. It's a shame about the P8 sumps though I'll have to change my plan for tomorrow now.
 

ben_m

New member
Was down P8 yesterday.
Levels certainly dropped since Alastair and I went in August.
I reckon with a shovel and some patience you could be through sump 1
 

A_Northerner

Active member
Was down P8 yesterday.
Levels certainly dropped since Alastair and I went in August.
I reckon with a shovel and some patience you could be through sump 1

I'm not so sure, I think you'd find if you dug down in the silt you'd find the water level eventually. When I dug it in August the water level was still some 2m above where the passage roof dips down to when you dive it, it had only dropped 1m since I dived it in June so I think there may still be some drought needed to pass it. I might have another crack at digging it soon though, if I don't have anything better to do.
 
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